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Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Oct;42(18):11721-32. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku868. Epub 2014 Sep 23.

Interactions of the yeast mitochondrial RNA polymerase with the +1 and +2 promoter bases dictate transcription initiation efficiency.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, RUTGERS-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, RUTGERS-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA patelss@rwjms.rutgers.edu.

Abstract

Mitochondrial promoters of Saccharomyces cerevisiae share a conserved -8 to +1 sequence with +1+2 AA, AG or AT initiation sequence, which dictates the efficiency of transcription initiation by the mitochondrial RNA polymerase Rpo41 and its initiation factor Mtf1. We used 2-aminopurine fluorescence to monitor promoter melting and measured the kcat/Km of 2-mer synthesis to quantify initiation efficiency with systematic changes of the +1+2 base pairs to matched and mismatched pairs. We show that AA promoters are most efficient, followed by AG and then AT promoters, and the differences in their efficiencies stem specifically from differential melting of +1+2 region without affecting melting of the upstream -4 to -1 region. Inefficient +1+2 melting increases the initial NTPs Kms of the AG and AT promoters relative to AA or singly mispaired promoters. The 16-100-fold higher catalytic efficiency of AA initiation sequence relative to AG and AT, respectively, is partly due to Rpo41-Mtf1 interactions with the +1+2 non-template adenines that generate a stable pre-transcribing complex. We propose a model where the +2 base pair regulates the efficiency of initial transcription by controlling multiple steps including downstream promoter opening, +1+2 NTPs binding, and the rate of 2-mer synthesis.

PMID:
25249624
PMCID:
PMC4191429
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gku868
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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